Skip to main content

Bakewell pudding

Once upon a time (so the story goes), the owner of a hotel in a little town named Bakewell asked his cook to make a jam tart.  The cook, being rather dim, managed to spread a layer of jam over the pastry shell, and then dollop some kind of eggy almondy mixture on top.  "How do you manage to screw up a simple jam tart?" cried the hotel owner.  However, being a pragmatic type, he poured some custard on it and sent it out to table 3 anyway.  The guests rather liked the new specialit√© du maison and bingo! the Bakewell pudding was born.


What the story doesn't tell you is that the cook was always doing things like that. "You're supposed to put the fruit on the top, dammit!" turned into pineapple upside-down cake.  "Would you like to explain exactly why you poured a mug of hot cocoa over a perfectly good chocolate cake?" led to the self-saucing chocolate pudding.  But by the third attempt, some genius had hit on the idea of naming the latest bodge-job after the town, and Bakewell's supply of tourist revenue for the next two centuries was guaranteed.

Bridge in Bakewell

Bakewell Parish Church

Believe it or not, I have not yet embarked on cake tourism.  My reason for visiting Bakewell, apart from it being a pretty little town in a rather nice part of the Peak District, involved a man by the name of White Watson - but who he is and why I was interested in him will be explained in another blog post.  For now, we will gloss over the few hours' research in Bakewell library, and move on to a more interesting part of the trip.  Ummm... [leafs through photos] what was that?  Oh yes, lunch!

 
Lunch was eaten in a very English kind of cafe named Byways.  The decor made you think you had accidentally wandered into some old lady's sitting room, while the drinks menu reinforced the impression by offering you hot Ribena or Horlicks (or a nice cup of tea, of course).  And the baked potatoes were delicious.





Anticipating the cold and drizzly weather, we'd booked a table at the brilliantly named Baked Well Pottery in the afternoon.  A party of excited six-year-olds were being herded out the door as we went in, but after we'd recovered from being trampled, we had the place to ourselves.  We settled down for an hour of colourful concentration.  Toby and Graham decorated a little turtle while I worked on a small pot.


 
By the time we found our hotel for the night, the drizzle had turned to snow.  In the morning there was quite a thick layer.


However, it was extremely variable; a few miles down the road there was almost none, then all of a sudden it would be everywhere again.  The hills had a nice sugar-dusted effect on them.





We attempted some of the Monsal Trail despite the cold.  This is a defunct railway line (always good for pushchair walks!) on which they have recently reopened some of the old tunnels.  We shivered our way to Headstone tunnel and enjoyed the views from the viaduct beyond, then rushed a crying Toby back to the warm car as fast as possible.  The poor kid was cold and tired - never a good combination - but a long nap in the car solved those problems, and let us enjoy a quiet picnic-with-a-view before the drive home.


Inside Headstone Tunnel

On the viaduct



Did I say I didn't do cake tourism?  Well, it would be rude not to visit even one of those many "Only Original and Authentic Bakewell Pudding" shops, now wouldn't it?

Very tasty!

Comments

Jo said…
You definitely went to the right shop... Having been to bakewell lots of times, and even lived just 10 miles down he road I've eaten waaaay more of those puddings than can be considered healthy. On one occasion we even did a little taste test experiment, visiting each pudding shop. Felt rather sick after that!!

Popular posts from this blog

Three Mile an Hour God: Spiritual Formation Book 10

"The affirmed life must not become either a lazy life or a happy-ever-after, easy life. The affirmed life is not a life of the power of positive thinking. To be affirmed by God means to live with danger and promise."   Kosuke Koyama's book Three Mile an Hour God was written out of the experience of the Second World War and its aftermath in Japan. As Koyama says in his preface, it is "a collection of biblical reflections by one who is seeking the source of healing from the wounds... inflicted by the destructive power of idolatry." The title speaks of a God who moves at walking pace - three miles an hour - and even, in Jesus, comes to a "full stop" - nailed to a cross. If we try to move faster than the love of God, says Koyama, we fall into idolatry. What is the book about? Three Mile an Hour God has 45 chapters, each a separate short reflection headed by a Bible verse. Some deal specifically with Japan, considering her role in WWII, the damage inflicte

National Forest Way: Ellistown, Bagworth, Nailstone

You may well say, "Where?" I'd never heard of any of these three villages before I planned to walk through them. Back in the 1970s, it would have been possible to travel between them underground. All three had collieries producing exceptional amounts of coal (Bagworth set a Guinness World Record). Nailstone and Bagworth collieries were connected in 1967, and Ellistown was merged with the other two in 1971. All the mines are long closed now. The railway lines have been taken up, the winding wheels turned into civic sculptures, and the pit sites transformed into country parks. It was a beautiful sunny day, but we'd had a lot of rain recently. Within five minutes of leaving Ellistown, I was glad I'd worn my wellies.   The way took me alongside a quarry site and then into a collection of woods: Common Hill Wood, Workmans Wood, Battram Wood. The colours of the trees in the November sunshine were beautiful. The path was a muddy mess. At Battram village I crossed a newly

National Forest Way: Normanton le Heath to Ellistown

This 9-mile walk took me through the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Woods and Sence Valley Forest Park, and into the heavily-quarried countryside south of Coalville (no prizes for guessing what was mined there!) I originally planned to walk from Normanton le Heath to Donington le Heath, which had a pleasing symmetry. But I decided to go a bit further, to the hamlet of Ellistown.   It was a cold morning. I'd been in shorts the previous weekend, but today there was a frost. I added a flask of coffee, a scarf and gloves to my kit, and set off. For a small village, Normanton le Heath has a surprisingly wide road. I parked there rather than using the car park for the Jubilee Woods. That meant I was at my starting point straight away. I followed a road past some rather nice houses, crossed a field, and entered the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Woods. The NFW leaflet told me that I was on the route of the Via Devana, a Roman road from Colchester to Chester. There isn't much left of it. a mosaic,